Tough Night To Be Quoted

Drudge was linking to another Northeast Due for Big Hurricane story tonight. In it, along with AccuWeather quotes, was one from a Plymouth State professor, Dr. Lourdes Aviles.

I read it and got upset pretty quickly.

Dear Professor Aviles,

I read your quote from the AP:

Lourdes Aviles, a Plymouth State University assistant meteorology professor, said Reeves’ forecast sounds right. That New England hasn’t had a strong hurricane in 50 years could signal the region’s luck is running out, she said.

I would expect this from a layman, but I am disappointed to see a meteorologist say this. As far as I know, there is no memory in climatology. 50, 100, 1000 years – what difference does it make?

The trouble is, you help reinforce this false ‘overdue’ notion that is being hyped.

It didn’t take long before she wrote back. What had been anger toward her comments quickly turned around.

I have written the AP, hoping a correction will be published, though those seldom come close to undoing the damage.

Hi Geoff,

I actually never said that. I made a point to mention to the reporter that talked to me on the phone to say that there was no way to know if such a strong hurricane would hit us this year or in 10 years or in 50 years. I said that because of the climatology, it has happened in this region and it will happen again, but I never said that it will happen this year because we are due. The reporter just heard what wanted to hear. He never mentioned Reeves name to me and I tried over and over to repeat to him that this is not how it works.

This really concerns me because this article has gotten more exposure than I thought it would get and it bothers me that it appears that I am going with the hype, when I am not.

Never believe that all quotes are exact. The report had a conversation with me and that was it. He paraphrased what he believed I was saying, instead of writing what I said. In fact, what he said I agreed with was the fact that the Long Island, Rhode Island, Eastern Massachusetts coast was more exposed than the rest of New England, but the way he wrote it, it seemed like he was saying that I agreed with everything that Reeves said. I also just realized that the article that you are pointing to is from AP and it is based on an article written by a local reporter of a small Dover, NH newspaper.

In fact, the way I see that the media works, I am wondering if Reeves actually said what the newspapers are saying he said

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